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Bloomberg Bizweek: Huntsman Instrumental In Brokering Policy Issues in China

Jon Huntsman, a prominent Republican whom President Obama chose as the country’s ambassador to China, played an important role in brokering an agreement in which the Chinese government agreed to drop its indigenous innovation policies, according to a new profile in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Broadband Breakfast Staff



Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to China, played an important role in brokering an agreement in which the Chinese government agreed to drop its indigenous innovation policies, according to a new profile in Bloomberg Businessweek:

Shortly after his arrival in August 2009, Huntsman brought together European and Asian diplomats and dozens of trade groups to craft a coordinated response to Indigenous Innovation, a program designed to promote homegrown technology. The new rules threatened to shut foreign companies out of China's $112 billion government procurement market. After months of pressure, China last April said it would delay implementation of the regulations. "He knew China, so nobody could fool him," says James McGregor, a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China who is a senior counselor at consulting firm APCO Worldwide. "In China you sometimes can measure progress by stopping bad policies in their tracks."

Both the Chinese and U.S. governments formally followed through with this decision by officially declaring in December that neither country would "adopt or maintain measures that make the location of the development or ownership of intellectual property a direct or indirect condition for eligibility for government procurement preferences for products and services."

The White House on Monday disclosed that Huntsman had informed its staffers that he intended to leave during the first part of 2011.

Huntsman is the son of the founder of the $8 billion chemical company Huntsman Corp., which invented the McDonalds clamshell burger box.

The former governor of Utah is widely expected to become a candidate in the 2012 presidential election.

Bloomberg Businessweek and many other publications note that Huntsman has scored high marks among both the American and Chinese business and policymaking communities for promoting a practical working dialogue and open channels of communications between the American and Chinese.

Obama administration spokesman Robert Gibbs said during a recent press briefing that a search for a successor has already been launched but didn't provide any more details.

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    Hugh Campbell

    February 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

    As long as the United States continues to allow China to manipulate the U.S. Dollar and therefore manipulate our trade with ALL our trading partners:
    – our balance of trade with ALL our trading partners will be worse than it would otherwise be.
    – free trade agreements will work to our disadvantage and we should halt entering into new ones.

    Mark Twain is credited with an early use of the cliché “more than one way to skin a cat” in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, as follows: “she was wise, subtle, and knew more than one way to skin a cat, that is, more than one way to get what she wanted”. defines beggar-thy-neighbor as: an international trade policy of competitive devaluations and increased protective barriers that one country institutes to gain at the expense of its trading partners. Under the guise of fostering ‘indigenous innovation’, the Chinese government has creatively used a non-conventional, subtle version of beggar-thy-neighbor. Its version doesn’t entail the competitive devaluation of its own currency, which would enhance China’s exports and inhibits its trading partners’ exports to China. China’s version perpetrates an over-valuation of the currencies of one or more of its trading partners. This negatively affects all the trade of the pegged trading partner(s), not just trade with China. During the recent period China pegged its currency to the U.S. Dollar, its version of beggar-thy-neighbor was 8 times as damaging to the U.S. economy as what the media refers to as “China keeping it currency undervalued”.

    In November 2003, Warren Buffett in his Fortune, Squanderville versus Thriftville article recommended that America adopt a balanced trade model. The fact that advice advocating balance and sustainability, from a sage the caliber of Warren Buffett, could be virtually ignored for over seven years is unfathomable. Until action is taken on Buffett’s or a similar balanced trade model, America will continue to squander time, treasure and talent in pursuit of an illusionary recovery.

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